Metro Markets, a supermarket chain in Cairo, has been experimenting with new look branches that are a highly-coloured cross between a food hall and a standard large format food retailer.
In a country where open-air markets are the norm in most locations, the look is startling and the store’s different zones are demarcated by colored back wall panels around the perimeter that extent to form a canopy above a food category counter.
Designed by Interstore, the outcome is what many large food retailers are preoccupied with currently: a store that feels less like a supermarket and more like a series of linked market stalls.
And as in most good markets, there are areas in the store where you can sit and eat at a counter, rather than taking everything away with you. Prepared foods are a major part of the offer and, like the other areas in the store, they are given a clean, contemporary feel with low counters that offer good sightlines.
Essentially, what is on offer is a format that sums up the aspirations of many supermarket outfits at the moment.